Author: Gordon Smith

Gordon blogged at Times and Seasons between 2003 and 2007. Further biographical information can be found here.

Questions About Lucifer

We believe that Lucifer, the Son of the Morning (Isaiah 14:12), fell while still in the premortal existence. This fall resulted in Lucifer being eternally deprived of a physical body. Ultimately, he will dwell in Outer Darkness, where there is…

Good Examples

Recently, through Times & Seasons, I reconnected with a friend from BYU and Law School. Sean Lindsay is now working as an attorney for Qwest in Denver. We first met at BYU, where both of us worked as tutors in…

STQ: Sustaining Church Leaders

My Seminary class just completed 1 Samuel, which tells the story of Saul’s reign over Israel. As you know, the people of Israel demanded a king to replace the corrupt judges. (1 Samuel 8:19-20) Samuel was inspired to choose Saul.…

Doing the Right Thing

Mormons believe in revelation. Within limits. Admittedly, what I am about to say is a gross overgeneralization, but I hope that it will provoke some interesting discussion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a rich tradition of…

Competing for Members

Yesterday, my bishop announced that our excellent Primary chorister was being released from that calling so that she could serve as the Ward Communications Specialist. Her new job is to provide content for the ward website. After putting the kibosh…

Change

Three days ago, I returned from a faculty development program in Delhi, India. While I attempted to adjust to Central Standard Time immediately upon arrival, I wasn’t successful. On Saturday afternoon, I fell exhausted on my bed and took a…

East Coast Bias

College sports fans debate endlessly about a supposed East Coast bias among sports writers and polls. Most recently, this issue was raised in connection with the omission of the University of Southern California from the so-called “national championship” football game.…

Does God Need Us?

In some circles, just asking this question requires some serious chutzpah. The “man is nothing” crowd would find the mere suggestion that God needs us offensive. Nevertheless, we have several indications in Mormon doctrine that God needs His children. Perhaps…

Situating Zion

We had some wonderful discussion about Zion in the lengthy comments on Material Prosperity, and I would like to revisit the topic here. My visit to India will end this week, and I have been confronted again and again with…

Just Curious …

If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you must have noticed the ever-changing header in the sidebar. The one that says, “Quite possibly the most ______, yet _______, onymous Mormon group blog in history.” When I first started…

Natural Disasters

John P. Pratt’s recent column at Meridian sent me reeling. (Thanks to Brent for the pointer.) While Pratt tries not to overstate his thesis, the gist of the column is that God (sometimes?) punishes local populations for their wickedness by…

Mormon Doctrine: The Legacy

A few years ago, another law professor asked me what I thought of Richard Posner’s legacy with respect to law and economics. For those of you who do not inhabit this world, Posner is generally credited with popularizing the economic…

“Goodly Parents”

Jim reminds us that next week begins a change in the Gospel Doctrine curriculum. This year’s course of study is, without a doubt, my favorite book in the world, The Book of Mormon. I hope to see a vigorous discussion…

God and Football

Living in Wisconsin, I have observed that the line between religion and football is thin. During my formative years, I was the lone Minnesota Vikings fan in a small Wisconsin town. Fortunately for me, the Vikings were quite good during…

Evolution

As is evident from my participation on this blog, I am not a scientist, but I enjoy reading good, non-technical, science writers. One I really like is Carl Zimmer, who blogs at The Loom. He writes a lot about evolution…

The Foreknowledge of God

I just fulfilled a longstanding promise to myself: I finally read the Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov. I have had many false starts on this project over the years. Asimov was not a great stylist, though he had many interesting…

Lord of the Rings

I saw the third installment tonight. The triology is an awesome accomplishment, but I still liked the books better than the movie. As you may know already, the movie has generated a plethora of Christian reviews (see here for links),…

Baptisms for the Dead

This morning I had the privilege of participating in a youth temple trip to Chicago. My job was to act as a witness in baptisms for the dead. While many Mormons revere this ordinance, people outside the Church often take…

STQ: Material Prosperity

My Seminary class is just finishing the book of Deuteronomy and moving into Joshua. This is an important moment in the history of Israel, as the Children of Israel are finally allowed to enter the Promised Land. Of course, Moses…

Gay Marriage Humor

This was sent to me by my friend Dan Burk, who is currently a visiting professor at Berkeley: The consecration of Gene Robison as bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese of the Episcopal Church is an affront to Christians everywhere.…

Christian Taxation

We have been interviewing candidates for a position as tax professor, but here is a question that I haven’t dared to ask any of them: So, how do you feel about reforming the tax code to accord with moral principles…

Ben Olson

If you do not know the name Ben Olson, you are not a BYU football fan. A few years back, he was the No. 1 high school football prospect in the land, and he chose to attend BYU. After one…

Saddam

Like almost everyone, I am thrilled that Saddam is finally in custody. He is a bad man, and the world is a better place when he is not in power. As I see the reactions of the Iraqui people, I…

“Chances for learning”

Here is a scripture that concerns me: And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning, yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because…

STQ: Translation

Ever since Nate and Greg started features, I have had my eye out for something that I could contribute. Tonight, as I was preparing my Seminary lesson for tomorrow, I got some inspiration : how about a Seminary Thought Question?…